Bigger Is BetterA La Carte Columns
June 5, 2016
Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Nawai Kekoolani, executive chef at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Ala Moana Center, says the exact words that every foodie, consumer and human being wants to hear: “You will never leave here hungry, we will make sure of that.”
And, it’s easy to believe his promise with options like Pasta di Mare ($22), which features a generous portion of scallops, mussels and shrimp cooked in a white wine pomodoro garlic sauce. The seafood dish is served with fettuccine noodles and topped with basil.
Amid talk of a full-menu revamp, Chef Nawai reassures customers that their favorite Romano’s dishes, like Pasta di Mare, aren’t going anywhere. However, there will be new additions, each created with simplicity, quality and “the bigger slice” theory in mind.
“We want to give the ‘bigger piece,’ because taking care of our guests is the most important thing to us,” the chef says. “We want to give back to our customers, especially the locals, and show them our gratitude for their continued support.”
Also new are Romano’s weekly specials, which include Chef Nawai choosing a different dish each week and offering it at a special, lower price. Additionally, the restaurant still honors its Tuesday kids’ special in which children ages 12 and under can eat for free off the kid’s menu with the purchase of an adult entree.
STOKED ON STEAK
One of Romano’s newly modified dishes is its deliciously savory Tuscan Ribeye ($27). The massive 12-ounce, certified-Angus cut of beef is grilled with aromatic herbs and finished off with herb butter. This meaty meal is served with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes, making it a simple meat-and-potatoes dish, but like you’ve never had before.
It’s menu items like Tuscan Ribeye that have kept Romano’s at the forefront of Italian cuisine on the island. “We’ve been at this location for approximately 10 years, and we’re looking forward to another strong 10,” says executive chef Nawai Kekoolani.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 4240, Honolulu
Daily, 11 A.M.-10 P.M.